Dungannon Swifts’ Irish Cup experience has already, in a single tie, provided one of the highlights of a season full of frustration.
Now the Swifts welcome Bluefin Sport Championship-based Newry City AFC unbeaten since that early-January success over Institute and in search of additional cup cheer.
A draw at defending Danske Bank Premiership champions Linfield before last weekend’s victory over Institute stand as an example of the benefits for Kris Lindsay’s squad beyond cup progress.
“Our performances have been good along with the results but we know we must match, if not exceed, those standards against Newry,” said Lindsay. “Maybe the cup allows the players to go in with a different mindset, without the normal pressure of trying to get league points.
“You are not thinking about league positions or what results might mean outside of the actual one-off game.
“So a cup run can certainly help build confidence and lead to momentum, we have seen that this year.
“Although being at home is all you can ask, coming to Stangmore Park should offer few fears to a Newry side with so much experience.
“They have players capable of producing something out of nothing and we must be tuned in to that threat.”
Extracting individual moments of magic from an overall team tactical plan has been a common concern for Newry boss Darren Mullen across a league campaign disrupted by inconsistency.
It is a trend he is keen to reverse on the biggest domestic stage.
“You can work on tactics and gameplans up to a point but I am looking for more individually from my squad,” said Mullen. “In the final third, especially, you look to come up with something special - to bend a shot into the top corner or go on a run.
“We play with an attack-minded approach and go in the knowledge that just one moment can seal it.
“We go to Stangmore without any fear but expecting a difficult game.
“I recently watched Dungannon and know it is a steady and strong group of players.
“We go into the match feeling we have the capability of causing an upset but need to be a whole lot better than last time out when poor against Harland and Wolff Welders.
“I know the Swifts boss, Kris Lindsay, was in attendance at that game and I cannot imagine he went away too impressed by our performance.
“Consistency has been hard to find in the league this campaign, at times we have played really well but then also ended up punished.
“But, although the Swifts would be favourites, I do not feel we are a million miles away from Dungannon and our away form has been better than our home form this season overall.”